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Architecture at Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester or Nottingham?

I'm an international student doing the IB (HL art, physics, geography). I was predicted 38 points, but I'm afraid I may get a 5 in physics or art or both.
I've received offers for architecture at the University of Edinburgh (37 points with 666HL), University of Sheffield (36 points), Manchester School of Architecture (36 points with 666HL) and University of Nottingham (34 points). If anyone has any experiences with these unis/cities/courses, which should I pick as firm and insurance?
Reply 1
Nottingham is good for an insurance choice imo, it was ranked 3rd in the UK by AJ100 practices in 2020 (ahead of Sheffield and MSA)

Here are the links to the RIBA reports on the courses, these are good to read to get an idea of where each uni has its strong and weak points (if you haven't already read them)
Edinburgh
Sheffield
Manchester
Nottingham
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Pedr0
Nottingham is good for an insurance choice imo, it was ranked 3rd in the UK by AJ100 practices in 2020 (ahead of Sheffield and MSA)
Here are the links to the RIBA reports on the courses, these are good to read to get an idea of where each uni has its strong and weak points (if you haven't already read them)
Edinburgh
Sheffield
Manchester
Nottingham

thank you!
Reply 3
Original post by tsrjgarch24
I'm an international student doing the IB (HL art, physics, geography). I was predicted 38 points, but I'm afraid I may get a 5 in physics or art or both.
I've received offers for architecture at the University of Edinburgh (37 points with 666HL), University of Sheffield (36 points), Manchester School of Architecture (36 points with 666HL) and University of Nottingham (34 points). If anyone has any experiences with these unis/cities/courses, which should I pick as firm and insurance?

Congrats! I am also planning on taking the architecture path, and personally I am more worried about the personal statement and art portfolio, would you have any tips on how to make either one better?
Reply 4
Original post by tsrjgarch24
I'm an international student doing the IB (HL art, physics, geography). I was predicted 38 points, but I'm afraid I may get a 5 in physics or art or both.
I've received offers for architecture at the University of Edinburgh (37 points with 666HL), University of Sheffield (36 points), Manchester School of Architecture (36 points with 666HL) and University of Nottingham (34 points). If anyone has any experiences with these unis/cities/courses, which should I pick as firm and insurance?

Ive got offers from the same unis (excluding Edinburgh) and personally I chose Sheffield.

It is highly ranked within the UK by all uni rankings. The facilities are very nice, the architecture faculty is on the top floors of the arts tower which is a bright space with amazing views and cool lift. All the faculty members are involved actively within the built environment world. The accommodation is far superior to most of Manchester's offerings. Furthermore the city is much more student orientated and small scale than Manchester as well as being significantly cheaper.

I went to the Manchester offer holder day and i was impressed by the facilities but i got the impression the course is very intense and competitive (i.e no life). Manchester is more like London which may be more to your liking but Sheffield had a far more welcoming and community feel.

I was told by a tutor at Manchester that the decision comes down to where you would like to live as they are all well regarded universities. You cant really make a mistake with those choices as they are all strong unis. It comes down to what is important to you, e.g are you willing to trade good accommodation for a more busy city with a bigger party scene etc.
Reply 5
Original post by Chan I
Congrats! I am also planning on taking the architecture path, and personally I am more worried about the personal statement and art portfolio, would you have any tips on how to make either one better?

Okay so I received offers from Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle and Leeds.

Personal Statement:

-Its roughly 70-80% about WHY you want to study architecture and WHAT you have done to show that you have a proper interest in architecture (think work experience, books, essays, competitions). You can include architect's work which has inspired you etc.

-The other 20-30% is about you as as person i.e hobbies, sports, extracurriculars - stuff you hope to expand upon at university. As well as what personality traits make you well suited to an architecture course (organised, punctual, creative etc...)

(i was told this structure by someone who got into Cambridge and it definitely works)

Portfolio:

-A bit trickier as each university has its own unique portfolio requirements
-Basically you want to show your best work that shows you have observational drawing skills but also are creative and inventive.
-In general want to see a wide variety of media such as :tongue:ainting, drawing, ink, collage, sculpture, photography, prints, digital modelling (if you know how to do that- i dont) etc...
-Some unis specifically for an example of 3D work or photography and some set assignments such as Manchester which asks for a secondary statement (answering specific questions) or Sheffield which asked for a creative assignment entitled 'my street'.
-You have normally a few weeks/ a month of two to prepare a portfolio after receiving a portfolio request from the respective uni.

-Just put your strongest work forward. There needs to be a bit of focused on architecture but most of my portfolio was figurative with some sketchbook pages of buildings and a tiny bit about my work experience.
-Some unis even specify they dont want to see anything architectural in your portfolio (i.e they dont want to see elevations, plans or 3D cad) but it varies.

-To Summarise: In your portfolio, show them the skills they cant teach you - creativity and the ability to capture the world around you on paper or whatever medium.

Hope that helps!
Reply 6
Thank you so much for the useful information 😊
Reply 7
Original post by Hmacnicol
Ive got offers from the same unis (excluding Edinburgh) and personally I chose Sheffield.
It is highly ranked within the UK by all uni rankings. The facilities are very nice, the architecture faculty is on the top floors of the arts tower which is a bright space with amazing views and cool lift. All the faculty members are involved actively within the built environment world. The accommodation is far superior to most of Manchester's offerings. Furthermore the city is much more student orientated and small scale than Manchester as well as being significantly cheaper.
I went to the Manchester offer holder day and i was impressed by the facilities but i got the impression the course is very intense and competitive (i.e no life). Manchester is more like London which may be more to your liking but Sheffield had a far more welcoming and community feel.
I was told by a tutor at Manchester that the decision comes down to where you would like to live as they are all well regarded universities. You cant really make a mistake with those choices as they are all strong unis. It comes down to what is important to you, e.g are you willing to trade good accommodation for a more busy city with a bigger party scene etc.

thank you for the reply! I agree, Sheffield seems more my vibe since its a smaller city, but its not as isolated as Nottingham. I'm thinking of putting it as my insurance after Edinburgh
Reply 8
Edinburgh is lovely. Definitely a good idea !
Reply 9
Original post by Chan I
Congrats! I am also planning on taking the architecture path, and personally I am more worried about the personal statement and art portfolio, would you have any tips on how to make either one better?

Hello, thanks for your reply! I agree with everything Hmacnicol said about the personal statement and portfolio.
For the portfolio, I would recommend using canva instead of google slides because it makes it look more professional. Also, make sure the pictures you take of your work truly show your full potential. Some unis only let you submit 10-12 images so you should make sure that these are high quality with good lighting and not blurry. This will take a lot more time than you think.

Also (assuming you're in year 12 or below) I would HIGHLY recommend having the portfolio ready to send BEFORE you send your UCAS application because for me it was really stressful trying to finish taking pictures/making artworks with a two week deadline. Start preparing artworks for your portfolio at least a year in advance, because this will make your life so much easier in year 13 when you have a million other things to think about. If you already know which unis/courses you want to apply to research what they ask you to put in your portfolio and start doing it in advance, for example, start doing something cool for Sheffield's 'My Street' project before they send you the instructions. This way you will have more time to develop an idea, and this will make you stand out. Same with Nottingham, they asked me to put photography in my portfolio and I was scrambling to find something because I had never done photography. If I had done a little bit more research, I could have had more time to show something better.

Anyways those are just some suggestions of things I would have changed if I could do the portfolio again (because I got rejected from UCL lol), good luck!
Original post by tsrjgarch24
I'm an international student doing the IB (HL art, physics, geography). I was predicted 38 points, but I'm afraid I may get a 5 in physics or art or both.
I've received offers for architecture at the University of Edinburgh (37 points with 666HL), University of Sheffield (36 points), Manchester School of Architecture (36 points with 666HL) and University of Nottingham (34 points). If anyone has any experiences with these unis/cities/courses, which should I pick as firm and insurance?

Heyy!! Im also an international student doing IB and my subjects are HL art, physics and math. Currently im predicted 44 IB points and I had offers from UCL, Nottingham, Cardiff, Westminster. I decided to go for Nottingham as my firm and UCL as my insurance. This is mainly because as an international student, I really took into consideration all aspects of uni life including campus, accommodation, opportunities and course. I really liked that Nottingham had the BArch degree which to be very honest I think is better for experience with the actual course and field. I also visited Nottingham and the department of architecture and I LOVED IT!! As an arch student i wanna be able to get inspiration from my surroundings and the campus itself is huge and so much to learn from. So i'd go for notts as firm definitely as from an international student perspective its a whole new experience. The facilities for this course are also fantastic as they have loads of studio space, it is always quiet enough for you work peacefully, and multiple accommodations which are only 3-5 mins walk from the department (so you dont have to worry about walking with architecture models through rain lol). I hope this helps!!
Original post by danny_me
Heyy!! Im also an international student doing IB and my subjects are HL art, physics and math. Currently im predicted 44 IB points and I had offers from UCL, Nottingham, Cardiff, Westminster. I decided to go for Nottingham as my firm and UCL as my insurance. This is mainly because as an international student, I really took into consideration all aspects of uni life including campus, accommodation, opportunities and course. I really liked that Nottingham had the BArch degree which to be very honest I think is better for experience with the actual course and field. I also visited Nottingham and the department of architecture and I LOVED IT!! As an arch student i wanna be able to get inspiration from my surroundings and the campus itself is huge and so much to learn from. So i'd go for notts as firm definitely as from an international student perspective its a whole new experience. The facilities for this course are also fantastic as they have loads of studio space, it is always quiet enough for you work peacefully, and multiple accommodations which are only 3-5 mins walk from the department (so you dont have to worry about walking with architecture models through rain lol). I hope this helps!!


The title of the degree (BArch, BA, BSc) makes no difference to the course or to employers.
Original post by tsrjgarch24
I'm an international student doing the IB (HL art, physics, geography). I was predicted 38 points, but I'm afraid I may get a 5 in physics or art or both.
I've received offers for architecture at the University of Edinburgh (37 points with 666HL), University of Sheffield (36 points), Manchester School of Architecture (36 points with 666HL) and University of Nottingham (34 points). If anyone has any experiences with these unis/cities/courses, which should I pick as firm and insurance?

hi my brother did economics in Nottingham and its an amazing university I've been to visit him a couple of times and id pick that for my safety considering it is the lowest requirement

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